In his first letter to Timothy, Paul said that “women will be saved through childbearing” (2:15). If this is the case, there must be more than one way to be saved.
First, in the Jewish culture of Paul’s day, it was believed that if women died in childbirth, it was a direct punishment for Eve’s role in the fall. Thus, Paul may well have been assuring believers that women will be kept safe through the process of childbirth “if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety” (2:15). As such, Paul’s words refuted the denigration of women both in the culture and in the church.
Furthermore, men and women alike are ultimately saved as a result of the most significant birth in the history of humanity. Thus, Paul may have also been alluding to the fact that just as “the woman [Eve] was deceived and became a sinner” (v. 14), so the woman Mary conceived and brought forth the Savior.
Finally, salvation here cannot mean salvation in the ultimate sense. If it did, women would not be saved by God’s grace through faith. Unlike men, they would also have to bear children in order to know salvation. This not only is absurd, but it stands in direct opposition to the unambiguous teaching of Scripture (John 14:6; Ephesians 2:8–9; Galatians 3:28).
Remember, that which is cloudy must always be interpreted in the light of that which is clear.
By grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:8–9 NKJV
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